For my birthday a few weeks ago, the fella surprised me with an HP Sprocket mini-printer. I had casually added a few of those tiny printers to my Amazon wishlist with the plan of watching which one might be majorly on sale for Black Friday shopping. I didn't expect anyone to actually get one for me for my birthday. Needless to say, I was thrilled. Since I've had a bit of time to play with it now, I thought I'd share with you my thoughts about the printer in case you have one in mind for yourself.
Side note: HP doesn't know I'm alive and has not sponsored this review in any way.
-The size is perfect; it's just a tiny bit wider and heavier than my iPhone 7+
-I like that the printer and the cable are black; I think other colors are available, but I like the sleek look of the black
-It seems sturdy enough to carry around in your purse without worrying about breaking it. I bought a little canvas bag for mine and its supplies - see photo above. (I bought that canvas bag on clearance at Michael's for like $4 last week, just FYI.)
-I LOVE that the prints are stickers and find the backing very easy to peel off while I'm working on a layout.
-The prints fits the Big Happy Planner large planners pretty perfectly.
-Printing from your iPhone is pretty simple once you download the free app.
-The print sizes (2" X 3") are great for smaller forms of memory-keeping and just incredibly cute. (Almost everything is better in miniature...)
-The usb charging device is small and easy to use with your laptop or iPhone charger; it also doesn't take very long to charge up the device.
-Printing is pretty quick, maybe 30 seconds per photo although I didn't officially time it.
-It is possible to edit your photos in the Sprocket app. I haven't really used that option, but I think it's nice to have in case you want to tweak your pics a bit more than in the separate photo apps you already have. You can even do things like add fun borders to your photos in their editing software.
-I love being able to sit down with my phone at my desk and make a two page memory planner spread in much less than an hour including printing my pics.
-There are some cool options like mosaic tile printing and photobooth printing available in the app, but I haven't tried them yet personally.
-It's easy to update the app and the device via wifi.
-I love that there's no ink to replace! This printer works kind of like the old Polaroids did in that the photo is "printed" via a chemical reaction rather than with ink.
-The price is still a bit steep at $129.95 right now on Amazon
-I haven't found any stores locally that carry the paper, so ordering it online is my only option.
-The paper packs are reasonable but not a bargain at $24.99 for a package of 50 or about 50 cents each.
-The print quality is really good but still not as good as a professional printer or my Canon MG7720.
-The prints have a tendency to look just a bit washed out, but I prefer that to the very dark and oversaturation that seemed to be common in my Instax camera prints.
-Once you print 3 or 4 photos, I get the message that my Sprocket needs to cool down before it continues printing. This is kind of a hassle when you want to print a week's worth of pics at once. Now that I know it, I can work around it; I guess it overheats easily because it's so small.
-I notice a little bit of vertical lines show up in some of the light areas of the photos, but you'd have to be looking at them pretty closely to see them. For the projects I'm using these photos in, that doesn't really bother me.
-I'm not sure about the archival nature of the prints and whether they will stand the test of time. I prob wouldn't print my most important pics with this device for that reason.
The ugly:-One pack of my prints won't work in my Sprocket for some reason. After reading about troubleshooting issues, I can only infer that they must have somehow gotten too hot or too cold or too damp or something. Basically, the machine can't "read" that the paper is inserted because the edges have curled a bit. I plan to call HP to see if they will replace that pack for me.
-My Sprocket "loses" the connection to my phone kind of frequently. Then, I have to kind of turn flips or something until it magically begins to work again. Chances are this is user error of some sort, but I've been a bit frustrated on occasion.
-The top of my Sprocket doesn't really pop up for paper insertion like the picture shows it should. I kind of have to slide it all the way off and then pop it back into place. That's probably a user error issue too, but it worries me that I'll jack it up somehow and it won't fit properly the next time.
There you have it. That's my review of the HP Sprocket printer. I'm super glad I have it, but you have to be prepared for a few glitches and/or drawbacks with a small device like this. I'd recommend it for people who want to be able to print easily on the go, people who scrapbook in traveler's notebooks or planners, and people who love electronic gadgets. I also think it would make a great gift for teens because they could print and stick their photos immediately by using their phones to pair with the printer. I'm really glad I have the printer because I think it will make my memory planning go much more smoothly than if I had to print on my home printer and then cut down the photos. Plus, I do love a fun gadget. :)
If you're interested in purchasing your own HP Sprocket for yourself or a loved one, here's my Amazon affiliate link for the printer and the photo paper. Purchasing through this link gives me a small commission at no additional cost to you.